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13 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM

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India voters hoof out cow minister

AFP, New Delhi

India’s only dedicated “cow minister” has been dumped in state elections, ending a controversial tenure that saw hundreds of the sacred animals starve to death and poisoned on his watch.

Otaram Dewasi, the first head of Rajasthan’s cow ministry, was turfed out Tuesday when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was thumped in the desert state and two other key regional polls. Dewasi, who carried a traditional stick and wore the red turban and white sarong of a desert herdsman, was defeated by 10,000 votes by an independent candidate.

Hindus consider cows sacred and the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has campaigned for their protection at a state and national level and introduced harsh penalties for mistreating them.

But the cause has spawned cow vigilantism in parts of India in recent years, with people accused of carrying beef or slaughtering the animals murdered by mobs.

Rajasthan, a western state bordering Pakistan, has witnessed some of the most high-profile cow lynchings in recent times, including the brazen beating to death of a Muslim dairy farmer on a busy highway last year.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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